Prince Rama are a unique beast in the modern day music scene. Two sisters born and raised in a Hare Krishna commune in Florida, educated at a Boston Art School who are now a truly avant-garde band living in New York. You can tell why Animal Collective have taken to Taraka & Nimai Larson's music so much that they released their latest album, Trust Now, on their Paw Tracks label.
The band's strand of psychedelica is intriguingly far removed from the modern brand that The Flaming Lips produce as it almost harkens back to the Acid-soaked sounds you hear in the Psychedelic music produced in the late 60s/early 70s. Unlike most psychedelic acts of today, Prince Rama don't water down their sound too much with 'Western' influences; this isn't a band playing American music with a few tribal drums or a Sitar. Right from the outset of Trust Now, the Eastern influences one would expect from a Hare Krishna raised group are evident in their choice of instruments and style of vocal delivery.
Opener "Rest In Piece" is sang in Hindi with tabla playing throughout in that ever hypnotic way that you hear in a classical Indian standards. It melts into a sea of wind chime instruments and percussion on the second track "Summer of Love", which continues the trend of hindi chants and absorbing Eastern sounds. One of the more contemporary sounding tracks and by far the best song on the album is "Trust" with its heavy usage of synthesizers that create an entrancing and hypnotic jaunt that keeps you captivated for the six engrossing minutes..even if it does sound a bit like "Are Friends Electric?" at times.
However, the album is letdown by a weaker second half where things become a little too samey. Whilst there are still a huge amount of interesting sounds, the album begins to feel as if it is more style than actual substance. "Incarnation", for example, isn't as captivating as the earlier tracks and ends up feeling a little dull and repetitive. The last three tracks on the album mesh into each other and provide you with no real stand out moments or sounds. With an array of Eastern sounds and influences to choose from, it's somewhat disappointing that the duo didn't branch out further with their instrumentation.
Trust Now is an album brimming with ideas and intriguing music that you don't typically hear in most mainstream music, the focus on Eastern culture over our Western makes for an especially fun and other-worldly listen, if a little shallow on content. Whilst the album flounders in the latter stages and becomes a little too repetitive, it offers plenty of hope for Prince Rama's future offerings. They have the ingenuity and musical capabilities to make a superb album and it's less a matter of it, but rather, when that comes into fruition.